IRS updates guidance on Obamacare tax credit


The Internal Revenue Service has updated its Frequently Asked Questions page about the premium tax credit to subsidize health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Among the areas updated Thursday with new information are FAQs on tax credit basics; how to obtain advance premium tax credit payments; and what if a taxpayer’s income, family size or other circumstances change during the year.

The latest guidelines also update information on who is eligible for the premium tax credit and what income limits and household income are allowed. The new FAQ also addresses the question: “Am I permanently ineligible for the premium tax credit if I am married, but am filing my tax return using the married reporting status while filing separately?”

The answer is no. “If you are married and file your tax return using married filing status filing separately, you may be eligible for the premium tax credit if you meet the criteria in section 1.36B-2 ( b)(2) of the Income Tax Regulations, which allows certain victims of domestic violence and spousal abandonment to claim the premium tax credit using the separate filing status of the married couple. You can apply for this waiver of the joint filing requirement if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You are living apart from your spouse when you file your income tax return.
  • You are unable to file a joint return because you are the victim of spousal abuse or spousal abandonment.
  • You certify on your return that you are a victim of domestic violence or abandonment of a spouse.

Other new information has been added on reporting, claiming and reconciling tax credits, the suspension of refunds of excess premium tax credit prepayments for the 2020 tax year and the how to deal with unemployment benefits for 2020 and 2021, including what happens if a dependent applied for unemployment benefit last year.

The IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The guidance comes after the Biden administration made a bigger push to enroll Americans in the Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010 when Biden was vice president.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced that more than 4.6 million people had newly registered as of December 15 last year, and 13.6 million people in total, with a month to go. registrations open.


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